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Lymphatic Drainage for Fibromyalgia

By June 1, 2017April 24th, 2020No Comments

Fibromyalgia belongs to one of those conditions that physician find to be difficult to treat. This is because the presentation changes and may come in varying intensities. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, which means it is a mish-mash of various signs and symptoms, which when enough are checked off, the diagnosis is made.

While no specific cause of fibromyalgia has been ascertained, there are several that have been put forward, and include physico-psycho-emotional trauma and a viral infection (EBV has been postulated, but there is insufficient agreement on that).

In terms of diagnosis, there should be a pain in four quadrants of the body for a duration of at least 3 months. And there should be 11 out of 18 specified points that should show tenderness upon palpation – it is common though for pain to show up in other areas.

Treatments options for Fibromyalgia

Treatments options may vary from person to person, but they should include the use of nutrition and soft tissue work. At Soma Clinic Singapore, we offer lymphatic drainage, as well as acupuncture. While acupuncture does work well for pain relief, some clients may not respond so well. Because lymphatic drainage is much more gentle a form of body work, we recommend you consider trying it out. It is even better when there is clear indication of blockage of your lymphatic system, e.g. when a patient presents with low fluid metabolism and a certain heaviness about the body constitution.

Some research has been done regarding the use of soft tissue work (read: massage) to treat fibromyalgia. For example, a recent 2014 review concluded with a yes for soft tissue work for fibromyalgia, especially in relation to helping with pain, anxiety and depression. An earlier study comparing regular connective tissue massage with manual lymphatic drainage saw positive results for both in pain relief, general health and quality of life, with lymphatic drainage yielding slightly better results than normal connective tissue massage.


  1. Li YH, Wang FY, Feng CQ, Yang XF, Sun YH, “Massage therapy for fibromyalgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials,” PLoS One. 2014 Feb 20;9(2):e89304.
  2. Ekici G, Bakar Y, Akbayrak T, Yuksel I, “Comparison of manual lymph drainage therapy and connective tissue massage in women with fibromyalgia: a randomized controlled trial,” J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2009 Feb;32(2):127-33.